A big role filled by any caregiver is companionship. Wanting to be more than just a body in the room, I find patience and understanding a person’s limitations can help make the relationship more of a two way street. I ask those in my care to teach me things – their history, recipes, how they have solved problems, etc. If they have a hearing impairment, I make sure I am in front of them so they can see my lips move, and move to the side of their better ear when speaking, especially if pride or discomfort won’t let them wear their hearing aids. I provide adequate time for responses and allowing ideas to formulate. And I understand how much touching the back of one’s hand, holding an elbow and giving a warm hug means to both of us.